Harvest season is my favorite time of year. Entering into autumn, our complacency is shaken. That old, stale summer air turns fresh and crisp, a cue that we are entering newness. Schools are now in session, the kids have gone back to college, and the programs have started up at St. Paul. Every year, this season reminds me that life is not stale. We may follow new opportunities to grow, to help others, and to see God differently in the world.

Now in October, the dynamic colors of this world are in drastic change. The autumn season reminds me that we too, such as our faith and understanding of God, undergo constant development. But this change isn’t always easy or as obvious as we would like. Sometimes we may feel stuck or as stale as the late summer air. Autumn, despite its appeal for some, may be saddening and challenging for others. Luckily, such as the cold fall air, we have each other to freshen our perspective on God’s presence in our lives. We have each other to learn from, to walk with and support as we go through the joys and challenges that change may bring.

The ambivalence of change, whether joyful or sad, may be stabilized by our faith of God in our midst. Although we may not know what lies ahead, God is active in our lives through the people around us. We are guided and supported by Christ so that we may see each other more clearly, and love one another more fully. Paul’s verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 says just this, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”. I enjoy autumn because I am reminded of the changes we undergo in life with Christ in our midst.

In May, I traveled to Nebraska with a seminary class to learn about rural Lutheran communities. During that short week, I learned the importance of a supportive community throughout uncertain times. One particular farmer told us a story about a man who passed away at the beginning of harvest season. Without his ability and knowledge to harvest the crop, his family was left helpless as the corn ripened in the field. Within three days, the family’s neighbors used their combines, large harvesting machines, to clear the field of grain. Amidst this loss and despair, both at the loss of the man’s life and the value of family’s crop, God’s presence and love became known.
Like the combines that harvested the neighbor’s field, God shows us that we are supported and loved through uncertain changes. Amidst a shifting season, I am reminded of God’s never-ceasing presence in this world. Thanks be to God.

-Vicar Alex
In Our Prayers
We pray for Cathy Venkatesh and her family upon the death of her father, Joe Richardson, who died from a stroke last weekend during a family visit. We will make an obituary available next week.